Perry Mason (1957–1966)
8.6/10
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The Case of the Violent Village 

Phil Beecher returns from a year in prison for vehicular manslaughter of Aggie Norris the sheriff's daughter. His wife Kathi forgives him, although the people of the town despise him. Phil is charged when sister Charlotte Norris is killed.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Paul Drake (credit only)
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Hamilton Burger (credit only)
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Lt. Tragg (credit only)
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Sheriff Eugene Norris
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Judith Thurston
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Kathi Beecher
Ray Hemphill ...
Phil Beecher
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Norman Thurston
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Robert Tepper
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Deputy Sheriff Ward Lewis
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Everett Ransome
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Judge (as Willis B. Bouchey)
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Charlotte Norris
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Storyline

Perry Mason is on holiday in a small village where he hopes to get some rest and get in some hunting with his old friend Sheriff Eugene Norris. Also in town is Phil Beecher who has just finished a term in prison for drunk driving and killing Norris' daughter Aggie in an auto accident. Many in the town are outraged that Beecher would have the nerve to return and even his wife Kathi isn't sure she wants him back so he stays at the lodge where Perry is staying. He witnesses Aggie's sister Charlotte defend Phil from a deputy who attacks Phil in the lodge lobby. Later, Charlotte meets Norman Thurston where they put the finishing touches on a plan to steal the payroll and blame Phil. It all comes to a boil when Sheriff Norris' second daughter Charlotte is killed during a hold up at the local sawmill that sees the $43,000 payroll stolen. Beecher admits to having been there at Charlotte's request but she tried to shoot him and she was definitely alive when he left her. Perry takes up his case... Written by garykmcd

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Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

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Release Date:

2 January 1960 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the opening scene, where the bus is seen cross what looks like a bridge. It's actually crossing the Big Bear Dam. In 1960 the road actually crossed over the top of the dam, right at the point where you had to turn off of Big Bear Blvd onto N. Shore Drive to go to the village of Fawnskin. The route the bus took no longer exists. When seen from above the area where the road was, seems to have collapsed. And the road was moved 25 feet or so over to avoid the cavity behind the dam. There even appears to be some of the old support for the old road still running across the bridge. See more »

Goofs

The murder happens on November 15, but the double-month display calendar on the wall where the murder occurs is turned to July/August of 1959. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Phil Beecher: Hello, Kathi. You didn't even meet me at the bus stop.
Kathi Beecher: What did you... come back for?
Phil Beecher: You.
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User Reviews

 
Change of Venue
6 September 2012 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Although this episode was populated by a great cast of seasoned character players the Perry Mason paradigm holds for me, if I can figure out the murderer before it is revealed than the episode is an inferior one. Even with some good performances.

Ray Hemphill arrives back in town after he has served ten months for involuntary manslaughter of the sheriff's daughter, the sheriff being Barton MacLane. MacLane's surviving daughter works out a scheme to frame Hemphill for a payroll robbery of the town mill where he and everyone else just about worked. Except that Ina Victor gets caught up in her own scheme and is shot to death.

Of course Hemphill is looking good for it and even if he wasn't there is enough sentiment in the town against him to guarantee that any other lawyer would ask for a change of venue. Not Perry Mason though. He rolls the dice and elects to proceed here.

Except for a conversation on the phone with Barbara Hale, none of the other series regulars are in this episode. Raymond Burr gets to face off with a special prosecutor appointed by the California Attorney General. Terry Becker who is best known for playing Chief Sharkey on Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea is one arrogant, full of himself prosecutor. You really love seeing Burr tear him apart.

Still it really is obvious who the murderer is.


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